Argentina legend Diego Maradona has requested superstar Lionel Messi to reconsider his decision of quitting international football.
Messi on Sunday said he was done playing for the national team after suffering a heartbreaking Copa America final loss against Chile.
It was Argentina’s third consecutive defeat in a major final as their 23-year long wait for a silverware continued.
“Messi has to stay in the national team. He will go to Russia in form to be world champion,” Maradona was quoted as saying by La Nacion.
“He has to rely more on boys who can help take the team forward and less on those who say they have to go.”
Maradona, who drove Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986 before faltering in the final four years later, said whoever wanted Messi to quit are wanting to also hide the mess the South American country’s football is in.
“Those who are saying he should quit are doing it so that we won’t see what a disaster Argentine football has become,” said the 55-year-old who was Argentina coach in the 2010 World Cup.